Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Complexity of working with an oversea graphic designer

When you are thinking to make your marketing contents look professional, visually appealing, attractive and interesting for the audience to look at, the first thing you would think is having a professional graphic designer on the team. They are good at design and they are experts on using professional design software and apps. But getting them to work with you is not the key to unlock the puzzle just yet, knowing how to communicate your idea to them is the magic that solves the challenge.  Although one might think that it is the designer’s responsibility to understand his/her clients ‘expectations fully, but to my understanding, everything requires collaboration and teamwork. It’s never as easy as a one-person’s job.

It sounds easy that as long as you tell them what the layout should look like, send them some pictures and the contents for each page, then “making it pretty” should be the designer’s job. Although this is not wrong, but it is certainly over-simplifying the process of working with a designer. There is a high level of specificity involved during the communication procedure. Details like font style, color code, brand identity graphics are being asked. Then there the part of figuring out the overall style/persona of your marketing deliverable according to the target audience. If it is targeted to a pharmaceutical company, the flyer/brochure’s persona is different than you are trying to target an educational industry. Although the persona of the brochure/flyer changes for different audience group, but at the end, it should still align with the company’s overall brand identity – like following a specific shape pattern on the design, using the same green color and applying the branded graphics throughout etc. to avoid brand dilution.

I remembered one time I was reviewing one of the design draft sent by the designer, and replied her with the message of wanting the brochure to look more “business-professional/oriented.” The designer was confused because she interprets “business-professional” differently than me. So later I realized in order to fully get my message across to her, the most effective way is to be specific, simple and literal. By including some reference examples are important as well, because from a designer’s perspective, her ultimate goal is to design something that meets clients’ expectations. But first, she has to understand what you meant by “visualizing” the whole design out.

Another biggest challenge I discovered is when she is an oversea designer and the only way to communicate with her is either through Skype or email surely adds another level of complexity to the whole process. Luckily, by setting out clear goals, have consistent communications and stay connected with one another still allow us to stay on top of our agenda and meet the deadline.